Team gives new chances to Norfolk youngsters

Young people across the county are celebrating reaching the end of a 12-week personal development programme run by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service. Presentation sessions have been held to mark the end of the Prince’s Trust Team courses in King’s Lynn, Norwich and Dereham.

And the Prince’s Trust Team programme has also received a cash boost with a £1,500 donation from King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Law Society after the group was impressed with the chances it offers to local young people.

The fire service delivers Team from bases in the three towns. It is open to people aged 16-25 who are not in training, employment or education and helps to build confidence and self esteem and lead the way to a brighter future. The course includes a residential week, work experience placement, team building, leadership and communication skills, job skills training including CV writing and interview preparation, and first aid training.

Here’s what some of the King’s Lynn graduates had to say about their course:

“My life was going into a downward spiral till I joined Team, now I know what I want to do in the future and have a positive outlook on life!” – Caitlin
“This course has really helped me get into a routine and motivate me to find work,” – Oliver
“An amazing and diverse course. Really enriching! Sad that it’s over, but happy to move on. Changed forever,” – Harriet.
“My confidence and attitude has improved massively and I next hope to volunteer to become a community fire safety volunteer as well as applying for a catering apprenticeship,” – Nathan.
A total of 11 youngsters completed the Team programme in King’s Lynn and many are going on to jobs, further education, training and volunteer work, many as a direct result of their work experience.

This includes work at a local pub, apprenticeship placements and a volunteering post for the National Trust at Peckover House in Wisbech.

Jenny Windsor, National Trust Gardener, Peckover House said: “We’re keen to provide a range of learning opportunities for young people in the gardens at the National Trust’s Peckover House. Not only can we help young people learn new gardening skills, but they can build their confidence through working with a wide range of people. The team enjoyed seeing enthusiasm for the garden grow during this work experience placement, even over a short period. We’ve loved having the extra help too.”

The King’s Lynn Team carried out their community project at West Norfolk Mind Allotment, which they renovated so it could be enjoyed by the service users.

The Dereham Team members carried out their community project at Lincoln House Care Home in Swanton Morley and their community engagements at the community hub in Dereham, Buckingham Lodge in Watton and Eckling Grange in Dereham where they did Easter activities with the older residents.

Dereham team participants also spoke fondly of their time at Team.

Scott said: “I have lots of avenues I’d like to explore after Team because I feel like a new person. I’m going to be coming back to volunteer as I want to support people that have gone through similar situations as me, and act as proof that things can get better and will with the right attitude.”

Jack said: “Before Team, I had no direction and I wasn’t doing anything to change that. I spent a lot of time applying for jobs which I had convinced myself I would never get. I joined Team as I really needed help with my confidence and a brighter outlook on life. Team promised structure in my life which I desperately needed. I think the most challenging part of Team for me was accepting that I can help others and that other people can benefit from being around me, as before I had convinced myself that I had little value. Team has helped me change my outlook, I now try and look positively at everything and I have realised that I am good enough. This new outlook has made me realise that there is a future for me.”

During the presentation at the end of the course, Jack was offered a permanent job by Mark from Pasta Foods, where he had completed his work experience placement.

The Norwich Team completed their community project at Marion Road Day Centre, where they created a garden for residents.

Garry Collins, Head of Community Protection and Prevention at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “NFRS is really proud of this youth engagement work, seeing young people succeed and our communities benefit from the valuable project work completed to help deliver a safer and more prosperous environment for all.”

The next Team programme starts in May. To find out more visit our Princes Trust Team programme page.

Courtesy of Norfolk County Council – 26/04/2019

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